Sponsor Message:
Aviation Photography Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Canon 75-300 F/4.0-5.6 III - Any Hope?  
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3820 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

I currently own a Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT) with an el-cheapo Canon 75-300 f/4.0-5.6 III lens (no IS, no USM). I am starting to think that there's no hope in getting a decent picture quality out of that lens, at least not a quality good enough to submit pictures to A.net.

Almost all pictures I take are very, very soft, and lack of contrast. It's definitely not motion blur, and not out of focus either. I shoot in aperture priority mode at f/8. Even using the "JID workflow" doesn't help much.

The camera body itself isn't the problem - I can get really great pictures by using a 50mm f/1.4 prime, but this has obviously nothing to do with aviation photography. Heck, even the dreaded 18-55 kit lens is better than the zoom  Smile

What do you think - is the 75-300 a hopeless lens when trying to use it for A.net? Or is it just me? Do I have a bad copy? Is there anyone here taking good pictures with that lens?

As an alternative I've been looking at something more expensive... for example the 70-200 f/4.0L with a 1.4x extender. I understand that pictures with this combination are very sharp. The photographer at my local camera store recommends the Canon 70-300 DO IS. What do you think?

Thank you
-Manuel


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWietse From Netherlands, joined Oct 2001, 3809 posts, RR: 55
Reply 1, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3777 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
The photographer at my local camera store recommends the Canon 70-300 DO IS. What do you think?

I think he wants to rip you off, or at least for what you intend to use it for. The DO IS lenses are much more expensive than the normal counterparts (75-300 USM vs. 75-300 DO IS) and the only reason for getting one would be the very compact size of those lenses. Otherwise, they are too expensive for the quality they deliver.

The 70-200 f4 is a great lens as is the 100-400 L IS. Both lenses are used quite extensively on A.net photos.



Wietse de Graaf
User currently offlineSulman From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2035 posts, RR: 32
Reply 2, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3768 times:

Manuel,

- What kind of subjects are you shooting, and where? Approach shots, small a/c, fast/slow moving?
- What sort of focal length - above 200mm?
- How many times have you been out with it?

There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the 75-300 you mention. Yes it's a bit soft at the long end, but there's plenty of people here that have learnt to get good results with it. The other thing to remember is that you will get better results with practice.

You mention motion blur not being a problem. Don't be so sure; the 350D is very light, as is the lens, it can be very difficult to keep things steady.

Cheers


James



It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
User currently offlineJavibi From Spain, joined Oct 2004, 1371 posts, RR: 41
Reply 3, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3769 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
The photographer at my local camera store recommends the Canon 70-300 DO IS. What do you think?

Do not listen to him/her!! The 70-300 DO IS has several good points, it is conspicuous and light, it is very practical when traveling, but I can assure you that compared with the 100-400 L it is really soft. Unless size and weight is very important for you, go for the old 75-300 IS or even better the 100-400 L if you can afford it.

My two cents

j



"Be prepared to engage in constructive debate". Are YOU prepared?
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 4, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3758 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Thank you for your tips.

Quoting Sulman (Reply 2):
- What kind of subjects are you shooting, and where? Approach shots, small a/c, fast/slow moving?
- What sort of focal length - above 200mm?
- How many times have you been out with it?

I am trying to shoot approaching small a/c (mostly single engines at our local airfield in Locarno, Switzerland). I'm mainly using focal lengths around 200mm, sometimes 300mm but that's when things start to get *really* soft, so I try to remain under that, then crop.

I haven't been out with it too many times yet. Maybe practice will get things better. At least that's what I'll try to do before purchasing more expensive equipment.

And thank you for warning me of the 70-300 DO IS ... I'll stick with the 70-200 f/4.0L choice, which seems the least expensive way to get into "L" glasses. But again, maybe not now... I have to save up some more money first  Smile



Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineManuCH From Switzerland, joined Jun 2005, 3011 posts, RR: 47
Reply 5, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3752 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Oh, one more thing I forgot to ask ... is the in-camera sharpening of the 350D really that bad? In other words, is it a must to turn this function off, then do all the sharpening with Photoshop's USM? Or can I leave it there? I know I could try and find out - but you seem all so experienced here that any help is appreciated.


Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
User currently offlineSulman From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 2035 posts, RR: 32
Reply 6, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3748 times:

Manuel,

200-300mm isn't an easy range to get good results with..you will certainly do better with practice.

If you can get to an airport and work with larger aircraft at 75-150mm, you'll find the output a totally different story.

I use the 70-200 and I still have to make sure my hands are very steady at 200mm; with no IS camera shake is still a problem for me.

Cheers


James



It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
User currently offlineDLKAPA From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3745 times:

It's best to keep the sharpening at a minimum in camera, I set mine to 0. Also, I've been using the 75-300 (no IS or USM) for about a year now, and I've learned to get some great results with it. First of all, the aperture MUST be set to 8.0 or smaller, usually between 8.0 and 11.0. Second, at 300mm it is going to be soft, but lately I've started seeing some excellent results between 70 and 200mm, results that rank right up with the 70-200f/4L that you've mentioned. In poor light, this lens definetly goes in the bag, but in good light you can do almost anything with it. Hell, yesterday I was out at DEN in high-noon lighting taking mosly backlit belly shots and they still turned out amazing.

In the long run, it will probably be to your benefit to go for the L glass, but i suggest working with this lens for awhile, learn its ups and downs that way you'll really get an ass-kicking when you use the L.


User currently offlineBruce From United States of America, joined May 1999, 5054 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3730 times:

I used to have that same lens and i had a lot of trouble shooting the very smallest aircraft. its really not the best lens. However if you can use it for big jets it is not TOO bad.

bruce



Bruce Leibowitz - Jackson, MS (KJAN) - Canon 50D/100-400L IS lens
User currently offlineBrick From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 1581 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3697 times:

I used this same lens from about September 2000 to July 2004. Except for at the fullest zoom, I never had issues with the quality of images. I didn't use auto focus either (on a Canon 630 it couldn't handle the type of photography we do).


A noble spirit embiggens the smallest man...
User currently offlineJumboJim747 From Australia, joined Oct 2004, 2464 posts, RR: 44
Reply 10, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3673 times:

Quoting ManuCH (Thread starter):
for example the 70-200 f/4.0L

IMO one of the best lenses on the market.
I would defiantly go with it.
I owned this lens and its very sharp even at 200mm .
Im sure the new owner is also happy as he is also an Anetter.
Cheers



On a wing and a prayer
User currently offlineJohndm1957 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (9 years 1 month 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3674 times:

All my pictures 'in flight' dated 2004 were taken with a Canon non USM 75-300, but it does struggle at 300mm.

This one taken at 300mm


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John Myers






Regards



Canon 550D, 18-55, 50 1.8, 100-400L
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Any Known Recurring Canon 75-300 Is Problems posted Fri Jul 29 2005 13:01:58 by Cwaterwo
Canon 75-300 USM Is Problem, Any Ideas? posted Sun Mar 21 2004 14:04:28 by Jkw777
Canon EF 75-300 III, III USM Or IS? posted Thu Jul 12 2001 07:47:38 by AA_Cam
Canon 75-300, USM Or No? posted Mon Apr 24 2006 03:10:16 by Cadet57
Canon 75-300 4-5.6 USM Is Lens Question posted Mon Jul 11 2005 19:44:20 by Madjones
People Using The Canon 75-300 USM posted Sun Jul 3 2005 16:19:16 by FlyingZacko
Canon 75-300 Image Stabilizer Question. posted Tue May 24 2005 09:00:27 by Cwaterwo
Canon 75-300 Is V. Canon 75-300 Non-IS posted Fri Apr 22 2005 22:50:48 by MartinairYYZ
Which Canon 75-300 Lens Should I Get? posted Fri Nov 12 2004 04:22:46 by Dlx737200
Canon 75-300 Is - Huge Problem! posted Sat May 29 2004 21:25:18 by Jkw777